Weekly criminal law case summaries and criminal law news, from FindLaw.com.
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Digest for Week of May 10th, 2016

Criminal Case Summaries and Blog Posts

Case Summaries:
Blog Posts:

Criminal Case Summaries


Gimenez v. Ochoa

May 9, 2016
Habeas Corpus, Criminal Law & Procedure
(United States Ninth Circuit) - In a second petition action for writ of habeas corpus relief from conviction of second degree murder of petitioner's infant daughter, based on the prosecution’s theory that his daughter was a victim of shaken baby syndrome, the district court's denial of petition is affirmed where: 1) the ineffective assistance of counsel claim, which concerns errors primarily related to the use of expert testimony, is barred as successive because his arguments don't present a claim for relief that is distinct from the claim raised in his first petition; and 2) petitioner can't obtain relief under 28 U.S.C. section 2244(b)(2)(B)(ii) on the theory that the prosecution introduced false testimony by incorrectly interpreting key hospital records in violation of his due process rights, because petitioner simply presents a battle between experts who have different opinions about how his daughter died.
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US v. Hudson

May 9, 2016
Sentencing, Criminal Law & Procedure
(United States First Circuit) - Sentence as an armed career criminal for conviction of possession of ammunition by a felon, 18 U.S.C. section 922(g)(1), is: 1) affirmed as to armed career criminal classification; but 2) vacated in light of the government's concession of error in the calculation of defendant's Guideline Sentencing Range (GSR).
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US v. Lee

May 6, 2016
Sentencing, Criminal Law & Procedure
(United States Ninth Circuit) - Sentence for conviction of distributing crack cocaine is vacated and remanded for resentencing where neither the defendant's conviction under Calif. Penal Code section 243.1 nor his conviction under section 69 was for a "crime of violence" as defined by the residual clause of the career offender guideline, U.S.S.G. section 4B1.2(a)(2).
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Rishor v. Ferguson

May 6, 2016
Habeas Corpus, Criminal Law & Procedure
(United States Ninth Circuit) - Grant of habeas corpus relief from second degree assault is reversed where: 1) a motion pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) that raises entirely new claims should be construed as a second or successive habeas petition subject to AEDPA's restrictions; and 2) a Rule 59(e) motion raises a "new claim" when it seeks to add a ground for relief not articulated in the original federal habeas petition, presents newly discovered evidence, or seeks relief based on a subsequent change in the law
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US v. Vega-Ortiz

May 6, 2016
Criminal Law & Procedure
(United States Ninth Circuit) - District court's denial of defendant's motion to dismiss an information charging him with being found in the U.S. after removal, in violation of 8 U.S.C. section 1326, is affirmed where the denial was proper because his conviction under California Health & Safety Code section 11378 constituted an aggravated felony.
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Holmes v. Spencer

May 6, 2016
Habeas Corpus, Criminal Law & Procedure
(United States First Circuit) - Dismissal of habeas corpus petition as untimely is affirmed where there was no basis for equitable tolling of the limitations period.
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People v. Johnston

May 6, 2016
Sentencing, Criminal Law & Procedure
(California Court of Appeal) - Denial of resentencing petition under Pen. Code section 1170.18, as to defendant's conviction for unlawfully taking or driving a vehicle is affirmed where unlawfully taking or driving a vehicle does not come within the ambit of section 1170.18.
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US v. Vega-Ortiz

May 6, 2016
Criminal Law & Procedure
(United States Ninth Circuit) - District court's denial of defendant's motion to dismiss an information charging him with being found in the U.S. after removal, in violation of 8 U.S.C. section 1326, is affirmed where the denial was proper because his conviction under California Health & Safety Code section 11378 constituted an aggravated felony.
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Thomas v. Faulls

May 5, 2016
Criminal Law & Procedure
(United States Fourth Circuit) - Conviction of kidnapping,18 U.S.C. section 1201(a)(1), interstate domestic violence, sections 2261(a)(2) and (b)(4), and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, section 924(c), is affirmed where: 1) defense counsel's performance was not ineffective in opening the door to testimony by a government expert, nor in failing to object to the district court's decision to keep the jury late one evening; and 2) the district court did not erred by admitting prior acts evidence and in requiring defendant to register as a sex-offender.
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Morva v. Zook

May 5, 2016
Habeas Corpus, Criminal Law & Procedure
(United States Fourth Circuit) - Dismissal of petition for writ of habeas corpus relief from capital convictions and death sentence is affirmed where: 1) petitioner has not identified a clearly established federal law requiring the appointment of a nonpsychiatric expert; and 2) his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims fail.
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US v. Tagliaferri

May 4, 2016
White Collar Crime, Securities Law, Criminal Law & Procedure
(United States Second Circuit) - Conviction of several securities‐related offenses, including criminal violations of section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. section 80b‐6, is affirmed over defendant's meritless claim that the District Court erred in not instructing the jury that investment adviser fraud requires proof of intent to harm his clients.
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US v. Ornelas

May 4, 2016
Sentencing, Criminal Law & Procedure
(United States Ninth Circuit) - In an appeal of sentence imposed in absentia, in a case in which the defendant disappeared and lost contact with his lawyer after he signed a plea agreement and entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, the appeal is dismissed where the sentence imposed by the district court was not unlawful, and thus, the valid appeal waiver contained in the defendant's plea agreement was properly applied.
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Criminal Blog Posts


Is Making a Terror Threat a Crime of Moral Turpitude?

Jonathan R. Tung, Esq.
May 9, 2016
In a case that circles around the question of whether making terrorist threats is a crime of moral turpitude, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals moved against the majority convention and remanded the BIA case to be reviewed under a...
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4th Cir. Clarifies 4th Amendment Parolees' Rights

Jonathan R. Tung, Esq.
May 6, 2016
Fourth Amendment cases are always interesting in that they deal with some of the most fundamental concerns affecting state and citizen: state intervention into suspected criminal activity. And when multiple states are involved, the laws can only get more interesting....
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Gov. Brown Raises Smoking Age to 21 in California

Jonathan R. Tung, Esq.
May 5, 2016
Despite predictable resistance and noise from the tobacco industry, the California legislature overwhelmingly passed a pair of bills that raised the smoking age from 18 to 21 throughout the state and broadened regulation of vaping, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco-related products....
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CA's Orange County Jailhouse Snitching Program Continues

Jonathan R. Tung, Esq.
May 2, 2016
Law enforcement continues to get battered in the court of public opinion. In general, law enforcement could really use a boost of good press. Well, don't look to California. As if the state didn't have enough of its plate already,...
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Mixed-Up Majority Upholds Cop's Conspiracy Conviction -- Barely

Casey C. Sullivan, Esq.
May 2, 2016
It was an unusual alignment of justices that came together to uphold the extortion conspiracy conviction of a former Baltimore police officer today. Samuel Ocasio, the Baltimore cop, had been convicted of extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion under...
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If no blog posts appear in this area, there are no new blog posts this week.
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